Charles Street West

Heating & Ventilation


The cost of all apartment heating is included in your rent. Apartments are equipped with hydronic heating systems, which use hot water circulating through sealed pipes to heat your living space. Radiators are located beneath the living room and bedroom windows. Report any leaks in valves or fittings to the management promptly. Please note that residents often find they have cool apartments even when their radiators are functioning properly. 

In accordance Toronto municipal by-laws, U of T is required to maintain an ambient temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) three feet from exterior walls from September 15 until June 1. If you call the Residence office to about the temperature, they will first ask if you are blocking the radiators with long curtains or heavy furniture. Move any such objects away from the radiators. Also, be sure that your ventilation grills are clean. When the ventilation grills are clean, warm air from the radiators is drawn across the apartment by the ventilation system. These grills are often left plugged up by previous residents. Make sure that the air spaces around your apartment door are clear so that the ventilation system can draw warm air from the corridors. If it is still cool after addressing these items, ask the Residence Office to correct the problem. If you are experiencing a direct draft through your windows, Residence staff should repair it. 

Be sure to report any heating difficulties to the Residence Office immediately.


Your apartment has ventilation grills in the kitchen and bathroom which are designed to pull steam, smoke, and odours out of your apartment and to draw heat from your heating radiators. One of the grills is on the wall near the ceiling in the kitchen and the other is on the ceiling of the bathroom. They often become clogged with dust and grease.

Clean the ventilation grills to improve the circulation of air and heat in your apartment. Do not tamper with these grills: blocking them will result in increased humidity, leading to heavy winter condensation on window frames, and damage to plaster and paint and a colder apartment during the winter. 

Blocking your washroom vents may cause build-up of mould and mildew. Inadequate ventilation will also cause your smoke detector/alarm to respond to minor kitchen steam.

The design of the ventilation systems in the buildings is such that fresh air is pumped in from the outdoors 24 hours per day, heated (in winter), and pumped into the building corridors. As air is removed from your apartment through the ventilator grills, fresh air will replace it by passing under and around your apartment door.

Some residents feel a draft around their door and therefore weather strip the cracks, thereby destroying all ventilation to their apartment, cutting off the supply of fresh air, and often causing damage to plaster and paint. The draft at your door is warm and necessary; drafts at your windows should be reported to the Residence Office for repair.

Contact the Residence Office with any concerns about heating or ventilation in your unit.

If your apartment is cold, let us know! We will come and take temperature readings and look for things that may be affecting the temperature, such as proper functioning of the radiators, air vents, and more.